Do I NEED a graphics card?

jberthoty

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John
Hello all,
I have my HTPC running with HDMI out through my Denon receiver and into a Samsung 65" 4k TV. I'm using the onboard graphics of the CPU (Intel(R) HD Graphics 4600 [Display adapter], 3.40 gigahertz Intel Core i5-4670K).
My question is, am I getting the best picture quality? Should I install a dedicated graphics card?
Thanks in advance for any advice.
 

Dave Upton

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Hello all,
I have my HTPC running with HDMI out through my Denon receiver and into a Samsung 65" 4k TV. I'm using the onboard graphics of the CPU (Intel(R) HD Graphics 4600 [Display adapter], 3.40 gigahertz Intel Core i5-4670K).
My question is, am I getting the best picture quality? Should I install a dedicated graphics card?
Thanks in advance for any advice.
It depends on what you are doing - but generally speaking the Intel HDMI output is perfectly fine. I have found through experience that they sometimes are more finicky when it comes to bit-streaming some audio formats, but overall just fine.

Are you planning on gaming or is this just for video output? If just video/audio, what software are you using, Kodi, Plex or Emby?
 

jberthoty

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Kodi, Neflix (website), Acorn.tv, VLC, YouTube. Stuff like that. Just wondering if I can get any 4k video from any of those sources and from the CPU graphics. I know YouTube has some 4k material and maybe Netflix too. I don't know what the hell I'm doing obviously.
Thanks again.
 

John Dirk

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I have basically the same internal graphics processor in my HTPC. Awhile back I added a dedicated Nvidia card for no particular reason. I've swapped between the internal and external graphics on occasion and can't really see a difference. If your HTPC was built after 2012 it's Intel HD graphics chipset almost certainly supports 4K output at 60Fps.
 

DaveF

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Hello all,
I have my HTPC running with HDMI out through my Denon receiver and into a Samsung 65" 4k TV. I'm using the onboard graphics of the CPU (Intel(R) HD Graphics 4600 [Display adapter], 3.40 gigahertz Intel Core i5-4670K).
My question is, am I getting the best picture quality? Should I install a dedicated graphics card?
Thanks in advance for any advice.
Ha. Never ask enthusiasts about "best...quality", because certainly you're not getting it! :D

Internal graphics processors are fine for HD output.

1) If your HTPC is playing your content without problem, then it's fine. To first cut, it's obvious if it's inadequate. There would be halting or skipped frames or down-sampling or badly synced audio or dropped audio.

2) If your TV does HDR well, then the integrated graphics for 4k are fine, as @John Dirk says, I believe. But if your TV is older and its HDR capability is limited, a GPU would let you use HDR->SDR tone mapping to get a better picture for HDR material.

3) If you want "best picture quality" you need to add a GPU and enable all the fancy processing that can be done for best quality HD and UHD output.
 

jberthoty

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Thanks guys. I think I'm ok but I need to do some research on sources and whether or not my TV can handle HDR. It's a bit older so probably not.
 

jcroy

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For generic hd (or even 4k hd), it probably doesn't matter much.

If you're into upscaling old ntsc 480i type stuff to -> 1080p hd (or higher), a better graphics card will make a huge difference if you're playing around with the upscaling + color interpolation stuff on the madVR renderer.
 

jcroy

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With a generic onboard Intel graphics chips over the past 6-7 years, it can be brought down to its knees with madVR doing a lot of the upscaling + color interpolation algorithms with dvd 480i content.
 

arunnos

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Read somewhere that HDMI 2.0b output on a graphics card is needed for sending HDR to a projector or TV. The VR-ready GPUs should be having this 'b' specification.
 

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